Final Touches at Woodstone

We are moving in next week!! This is the fun time-seeing all of the lights we have picked out over the last year ,the fixtures,the wallpapers and paint colors,the knobs,the mantle details,the column(exterior) details,cabinetry and so on.The floors are all done now-first floor just needs two more coats next weekend and then good to go!

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Mid-October at Woodstone

Landscaping going on-planting trees and shrubs,grass seed going in-trucks are everywhere!

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Bluestone arrived yesterday for front porch,  back and side patios.

 

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Dave’s trailer now about to leave as he can work in the basement now-all wall boarded.

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My husband had this sign made for the east side of the house. The five stars are for each of our children.

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The screened porch has floor boards now-about to be painted in Ben Moore Platinum Gray.

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The barn is basically finished!

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Millwork is being partially stored in the kitchen. They are now putting in millwork on the first floor.

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The cedar closet is finished and the banister and railings on the third floor.

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A True Family Home on the Cape

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We went to visit friends here on the Cape who had renovated their house-gutted it completely. It was originally 3 small cottages from the mid 1800’s that had been made into one home years ago but as our friend said “you went up and down steps” to get to parts of each house. They created more of a logical house in the space-and it is incredible. From the beautiful views to the little details-they had a lot of fun with this project.

I loved the lighting fixtures-they were all made by Eloise Pickard of Sandy Springs Gallery. I also loved the way the owners turned the couches in the living room to look out at the views instead of the more traditional facing a fireplace or facing each other. After all, the views are incredible as they are right near the water.

The pop of aqua in the mudroom,the barstools with both San Francisco and Boston teams to celebrate the owners’ home town teams, the “Lilly” guest room with dresses she had framed from her girls when they were small, the really fun laundry room floor…all of it adds up to a home well-loved and very much showing the creativity and cleverness of the owners.

Red Squirrel Designs

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Every now and then I luck out and a friend tells me about someone that they have used that is just unbelievable. That is the case here-my friend had these scenes painted in her boys’ rooms a few years ago.One son has a Hinckley sailboat in a cove,Rockefeller bridges and Acadia National Park is featured as well- to celebrate his love of Maine. The other son has a very Concord/Boston scene with the train that his Dad takes to work and Fenway in the background and a big FAO Schwartz pup driving a truck! Both are just fabulous-they also have 10 or so hidden animals in each!!
The artist is Harriet Taylor-Thorpe and her website is :redsquirreldesignsboston.com

Monticello-Charlottesville, Virginia

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In thinking of spring, I always think of going to Virginia-the prettiest place in the world when it is spring.This article caught my eye!

Jefferson’s historic house gets a bold coat of paint
BY MITCHELL OWEN
Hip and modern aren’t words necessarily associated with historic sites, let alone Monticello. The country house of Thomas Jefferson, America’s third president and likely its most intelligent—as John F. Kennedy once told a group of dignitaries visiting the White House, theirs was the greatest gathering of minds since Jefferson dined alone—has long been an icon in the national imagination. Its gently swelling dome and its columned portico even appear on the U.S. nickel. But this summer, visitors arriving at the mountaintop house Jefferson designed for himself in 1769 near Charlottesville, Virginia, are in for a shock: The beloved Wedgwood-blue dining room has been painted a rich, raucous shade known as chrome-yellow. The past is now so bright you gotta wear shades.

“The blue dated from 1936,” says Susan R. Stein, Monticello’s energetic curator and overseer of the thought-provoking reinterpretation. “So we began to do paint studies and concluded this chrome-yellow shade was applied to the dining room around 1815, only six years after it was invented in France.” Like anything on the cutting edge of fashion, it was expensive. Back then, chrome-yellow, which Stein eloquently describes as “the color of an egg yolk from a chicken that dined on marigold petals,” cost $5 per pound to produce versus 15 cents per pound for basic white. Better yet, the color was a new product that would have appealed greatly to Jefferson, then in his early 70s but still impassioned about scientific advancements, even if his housekeeping left something to be desired. (A visitor complained that the seats in the dining room around the time it was painted yellow were “completely worn through and the hair [stuffing] sticking out in all directions.”)

Today that space, just off the main hall—restored and repainted thanks to a generous donation from Polo Ralph Lauren—is an invigorating tour de force, awash with sunlight streaming beneath the crisp pediments of its triple-hung windows. The mahogany shield-back side chairs Jefferson probably bought in New York City are thrown into high relief, looking rather like cut-paper silhouettes. His paintings and prints, which once blended modestly into the dull-blue walls, now pop into view, their black frames crisp against the bold yellow. The whole room seems buoyant, the yellow reflected in the gilded mirror and suffusing the Palladian-flavored white moldings with a golden glow day and night.

“It takes some getting used to, but Jefferson was an experimenter, a forward thinker,” observes interior designer Charlotte Moss, a native Virginian who is still rubbing her eyes in disbelief after a preview a few months ago. “The yellow is more representative of who he really was, an educated man of the world, than that pale blue.” Moss was invited to create an array of table settings for the dining room, and the results prove how truly modern and appealing the room remains.

A fresh coat of paint isn’t the only change at Monticello. A mahogany sideboard has been added to the dining room, in emulation of one Jefferson owned. The South Pavilion, a two-room brick garden house where the newlywed Jeffersons first lived, has been furnished to reflect those early days, with a mahogany canopy bed curtained in flowery chintz. A wine cellar dumbwaiter has been rendered operable for the first time in decades, the kitchen now features an eight-burner stove that was the latest word in culinary chic in Jefferson’s day, and a new permanent exhibition is devoted to the slaves, servants, and other individuals who kept Monticello humming. Jefferson’s bedroom is in Stein’s scholarly sights too, as well as a blue room that may originally have been painted black. History, a dead thing? Think again.

The Orchard House

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The Orchard House was the Alcott family’s home, with the family living there from 1858 to 1877. During this period the Alcott family included Bronson, his wife Abigail May, and their daughters Anna, Louisa, and May. Elizabeth, the model for Beth March, had died in March 1858 just weeks before the family moved in.
The Alcotts were vegetarians and harvested fruits and vegetables from the gardens and orchard on the property. Conversations about abolitionism, women’s suffrage and social reform were often held around the dining room table. The family performed theatricals using the dining room as their stage while guests watched from the adjoining parlor.
In 1868, Louisa May wrote her classic novel “Little Women” in her room on a special folding “shelf” desk built by her father. Set within the house, its characters are based on members of her family, with the plot loosely based on the family’s earlier years.
On the grounds, to the west of the house, is a structure designed and built by Bronson originally known as “The Hillside Chapel”, and later as “The Concord School of Philosophy”. Operating from 1879 to 1888 the school was one of the first, and one of the most successful, adult education centers in the country.
In 1877, Louisa May Alcott bought the Thoreau home on Main Street for her sister Anna. Orchard House was sold in 1884.

Ralph Waldo Emerson House

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“Bush,” the house of Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord MA is across the street from the Concord Museum, a ten-minute walk east of Monument Square.

Built in 1829 as a summer house by the Coolidge family, the house was bought by Emerson as a family residence in July 1835.

The house was a center for meetings of Emerson and his friends, and still contains original furniture and Emerson’s memorabilia.

It was here that Emerson wrote his famous essays “The American Scholar” and “Self Reliance,” here that he entertained Bronson and Louisa May Alcott, his aunt Mary Moody Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and many others.

On July 24, 1872, the house caught fire and was heavily damaged. Luckily there was no serious injury, all of the Emersons escaped, and Emerson’s papers were not lost.

Without consulting Emerson, his neighbors took up a collection to pay for repairs. This allowed Emerson to journey to Europe and to Egypt—as he had always dreamed of doing—while repairs were being made. In 1873 the Emersons returned to live in the house, surprised by a town-wide celebration of the event.

Ralph Waldo Emerson died here in 1882.